Town’s Society Focuses On The Future Of Clair Hall

Following a public meeting earlier this year by The Haywards Heath Society, the group has drawn-up a full report. The document includes comments made by residents who answered a questionnaire which the group had organised about the future of the town’s Clair Hall.

The public meeting which was attended by more than 100 people was called in response to concerns over the future of Clair Hall ahead of a decision on Mid Sussex District Council’s new leisure strategy which is due in the next three years.

The Haywards Heath Society which called the meeting is an organisation of residents who comments on planning and development issues, make representation at public enquiries where planning issues are concerned, and respond to national and local government consultation papers.

Clair Hall which is located in the heart of Haywards Heath is a unique multi-purpose entertainment and events venue which serves the community playing host to dozens of music, drama and dance events as well as conferencing.

Speaking about the public meeting and her hopes for the future, Margaret Serdiuk, programme secretary of The Haywards Heath Society, said: “The event was most successful, we have prepared a report detailing the public’s comments both at the meeting and from the questionnaire. We have sent that report to both Mid Sussex District Council and the Haywards Heath Town Council.”

The Future Of Clair Hall, A Public Meeting Held By The Haywards Heath Society

Following the public meeting held by the Haywards Heath Society on April 11 concerning the future of Clair Hall we have prepared a full report of the meeting which includes comments made by
those members of the public who completed our brief questionnaire.

The report has been sent to Mid Sussex District Council and Haywards Heath Town Council and can also be found on the Haywards Heath Society’s website under the Current Issues tab www.hhsoc.co.uk

Briefly, the outcome of the meeting produced the following salient points: –

  • Clair Hall is a greatly valued facility
  • The overwhelming majority expressed views favouring Clair Hall remaining on its present site in its central location for Haywards Heath, the surrounding area and Sussex generally.
  • Easy access to the hall is facilitated by close proximity to public transport links (train and bus) and good parking areas on site and nearby.
  • The main hall offers the largest community meeting space within a considerable area, which is much prized by local and County organisations. There is no alternative of a similar size available.
  • The hall offers multi-purpose uses with a variety of different sized meeting areas.
  • However, there is a desire for the building to be enlarged and improved. After many years of use the heating system, kitchen and internal decoration all need up-dating to encourage still further usage. It is suggested that the Redwood Centre might be incorporated to provide more space and additional facilities, such as a café, museum or children’s play area.
  • The hall needs a higher public profile with better publicity and more kerb appeal to attract attention and users.

Conclusion:
Given the unremitting growth of Haywards Heath and the surrounding area, the need for Clair Hall in its present location cannot be overstated. It is to be hoped that Mid Sussex District Council recognise its worth and retain and improve it for the benefit of a rapidly expanding community. Its relocation or, worse, its loss could only deprive tax-payers of a valuable and valued facility important to the social well-being of the town.

For more information about The Haywards Heath Society, visit: www.hhsoc.co.uk

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